President Trump on Thursday signed an executive order to ease the logjam on the Affordable Care Act after Congress failed to repeal the law. I am “starting that process” to repeal Obamacare. It will be the “first steps to providing millions of Americans with Obamacare relief,” he said.
It is just the beginning of the administration’s actions on the health-care law. Shortly after the announcement, “experts” warned of coming instability in Obamacare markets with proposed cheaper plans that they say will divert healthy people away from Obamacare plans.
Not surprisingly, Democrats who passed Obamacare without a single Republican vote, called it “sabotage.” The executive order largely does not make changes itself. It directs agencies to issue new regulations or guidance.
The president’s idea is to expand the ability of small businesses and other groups to band together to buy health insurance through what are known as association health plans (AHPs). It also lifts limits on short-term health insurance plans.
“Experts” warn that healthier people could join cheaper plans, leaving the sicker people in Obamacare plans. That could possibly raise premiums for Obamacare plans or lead to insurers simply withdrawing.
The question is whether the administration will enforce the individual and employer mandates. The largest hospital association said an executive order signed by President Trump on Thursday could destabilize insurance markets and make coverage unaffordable for people with pre-existing conditions, according to the American Hospital Association in a statement.
Trump has tired of gridlock in Congress. A majority of Republicans in both Houses had vowed the last seven years to repeal and replace the law. The president is using his power to shake up elected officials and get a comprehensive dialogue started in a divided Washington.